Hi I henceforth will be known as an Apple fan boy, Mac addict, snob, elitist media junky or other epithets heaped upon me by the sad and sordid people living the PC lifestyle. I now work exclusively on an Intel based Macintosh. I’ve always had a PowerPC Powerbook, or iBook hiding in the wings for special tasks. Now I’ve gone all the way. No looking back. I believe in the Steven Covey (Franklin Covey) principles of keeping all of my data, dates, needs, and requirements in one special place where I can manage them (and comprehensively back them up). I don’t want to have sync issues, or waste time having to check multiple calendars. I exist solely on laptops and have done so since 1996.
Whatever laptop I chose has to be with me for at least three years. I keep laptops for a long time regardless of their issues simply because swapping or rebuilding them is a waste of time. I don’ like to waste time as there is just to much fun stuff to do and I can’t wait to get it done. Whatever I use has to just work. I’ve gone Mac partially because I’ve been testing Windows Vista in my lab and found it incredibly buggy and difficult to get my standard suite of applications to work, partially because I’m not happy with a lot of the hardware available, and partially because I find myself using my iBook to browse because it doesn’t have many of the security issues of a Windows PC. I started violating my own rule and now I don’t have to.
How I built or configured my Macintosh:
What it is:
MacBook Pro 15 inch wide screen display matte screen
2.16Ghz Duo Core 2 Processor
2 Gb Ram
200GB hard drive
Microsoft Office 2004 (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Entourage (replaces Outlook).
iLife 06 (Garage Band, iMovie, iDVD, iTunes, iPhoto, provided with OS X) Included with the computer when I bought it
Licensed QuickTime ($29)
Flip4Mac This makes windows media files run on Macintosh
Adium (chat client with all of the following configured) Yahoo (twice), AIM, GMAIL, .MAC, MSN) This is an excellent chat client that doesnâ€™t replace iChat that ships with OS X, but it does centralize communications and works quite well
Skype Free phone!
Stuffit 11 The tool for unzipping most files and .sit files. The demo is free
Unarchiver Free zip utility but it doesn’ tdo .sit files
Vidalia and TOR For privacy and anonymity while browsing the web.
Chicken of the VNC
Citrix ICA (Purdue)
Google Earth Browsing the world at a crazy detail level.
Cyberduck FTP and SFTP for Mac OSX
HandBrake (now known as MediaFork) for ripping DVDâ€™s.
IPCalculator Widget for figuring networks and spans of networks.
Caffeine Keeps a Mac from falling asleep during presentations.
Macromedia MX 2004 This is an older version the new version should be available in the book store.
MacAfee Virus Scan (for Intel Mac) Provided free to students and staff.
MD5 Will figure the MD5 hash of a file which is important for downloading securely
Omni Graffle Professional Is a gorgeous replacement for most Visio applications.
Omni Outliner This is a great tool for organizing thoughts
Renamer4Mac This tool makes changing file names and attributes rapidly an easy job especially with photography.
School House An excellent application for managing courses and keeping track of your grades as a student
Parallels This is THE solution for virtualization of an OS on Macintosh. I’ve tried a few other method, but this is the fastest cleanest and with coherence mode sexy software I’ve seen in a long time
AVID Free DV Software to make video editing easy on the Macintosh platform. It’s also free.
Moving mail from Outlook 2003 Entourage
I moved all of my email from Outlook to Entourage the hardest way possible. I bought utilities, I did crazy transformations. The easiest answer is don’t do it. I should have likely never moved to Entourage and just used Mail.app the built in OSX mail client. It’s faster, cleaner, and has some pretty neato features. To be honest I kind of like Entourage and it is a Person Information Manager (PIM) much like Outlook which I’ve always been a fan of, but it does have issues. I built up 9 months of saved mail on the server, then downloaded all of that so I would have a good historical record to build all new filters from.
Being that I’m none to smart and did the same exact thing for Mail.app and have been running them both. At the end of the school year I will likely decide which I will keep going forward. There are methods to move Outlook 2003 to Mail.app. If you’re on an Exchange Server Entourage will easily work. If you’re not then utilities will move you to Mail.app easily moving your local mail to new folders.
Moving Media Files
I’ve never really liked the .wmv file format. I keep most of my files in .mov or .mp4 formats so that I can move around easily. I enjoy my music on my iPod and have several hundred dollars of iTunes purchases (primarily TV shows and Videos). Moving from iTunes on windows to iTunes on Mac wasn’t a real issue and I did this fairly easily.
I never expected .Mac to be a neato feature. I never used it in the past and now I like it a lot. I can share my calendar and that has me using the Calendar.app more than the Entourage though I can synchronize Entourage with the Calendar.app. Now I’m finding it more and more important as I point people to my published calendar rather than fight over dates for meetings.
One application I’ve been asked about is Oracle 10G on Macintosh. There is a native build for Mac of the enterprise database. I planned on running Oracle in a Parallels virtual machine but you can download Oracle and run it natively from here .